NYC Top Comedy Choices for Friday 5/17/13

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.

Sketch group Olde English goes transcendent in
Ben Popik’s superb indie film The Exquisite Corpse Project.

Dan St. Germain’s Comedy Central Half Hour debuts at midnight.

Anthony Jeselnik

Anthony Jeselnik continues his headlining run at Carolines…

Kevin Meaney

…Kevin Meaney performs at The Stand…

Whitney Cummings

…and Whitney Cummings performs at Comedy Cellar & Village Underground

Tonight’s recommendations for the best in New York City comedy (in chronological order, with top picks noted and shows over $10 marked with $) include:

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 5:30 pm: Comics (not announced) performing funny characters audition at The PIT to appear in the most prestigious comedy festival in Canada: Just for Laughs Character Auditions

[FREE—and FREE BEER TASTINGS!] 6:00 pm: The debut of a unique comedy show that features free tastings of local microbrewed beer, plus tonight’s stand-up guests Sam Morril (Comedy Central), Emmy Blotnick (MTV’s Nikki and Sara Live), and Jared Freid, and music by band Final Gravity, all performing at the Comedy Bar (134 West 29th Street) hosted by Ben Asher: The Homebrewed Mic

[FREE] 6:00 pm: An open-mic show on a lottery system (sign-ups happen at 5:45-6:00 pm) at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City with hosts Erin Lennox and Eli Sairs: The Orphanage

[TOP PICK] [$] [DISCOUNTED] 7:00 pm & 9:00 pm & 11:00 pm (FREE TICKETS if you reserve in advance by calling (212) 260-2445 and mention HyReviews.com, but there’s still a 2-drink min. per person): TV & movie star Janeane Garofalo (possibly 9:00 pm only), Judah Friedlander (one of the quickest minds in comedy; 30 Rock, Meet the Parents, Along Came Polly, author of How to Beat Up Anybody), Rachel Feinstein (finalist on Last Comic Standing; Comedy Central, HBO, The Apprentice, opens for Sarah Silverman on tour), DC Benny (Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central, ABC’s The Unusuals), and more performing at the only comedy club in the East Village: Eastville Comedy Club

[TOP PICK] [$] 7:00 pm ($20 plus 2-item food/drink min.): Killer lineup of Whitney Cummings (star of NBC’s Whitney; HBO, Showtime, Comedy Central, MTV), John Mulaney (one of the finest stand-ups in the country; writer/performer for Saturday Night Live; Conan O’Brien, Jimmy Fallon, Comedy Central Presents, one hour special & CD/DVD New in Town, VH1’s Best Week Ever; for John’s great bit on Weekend Update, please click here), Julian McCullough (fiercely funny rising star; Comedy Central Presents, Jimmy Fallon, NPR’s This American Life, MTV, VH1), Gregg Rogell (Conan O’Brien, Jay Leno, Louie, Comedy Central), Keith Robinson (HBO, Comedy Central, Wanda Sykes Show), Robert Kelly (Louie, Comedy Central, Opie & Anthony), and Jeff Lamp (Jay Leno) performing at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane) hosted by William Stephenson (FX’s Louie, The Chris Rock Show): Whitney Cummings, John Mulaney, Julian McCullough, and More

7:00 pm ($7): Jarret Berenstein (Boosh Kla-Klau) presents a PowerPoint adventure about getting a new job, accompanied by sketches from comedy duo We’re Matt Weir, at The Magnet theatre: The New Job Show

[FREE] 7:00 pm: An hour of stand-up from Kat Burdick (NPR, The Moth) at Queens LIC’s The Creek upstairs theatre: Kat Burdick: The Pocket Guide to Predators and Prey

[FREE] 7:00 pm: Open-mic stand-up, with 3 minutes per comic (unless not many folks show up, in which case there’ll be more time), with names drawn out of a bucket at UCB East in the bar area (“Hot Chicks Room”) hosted by Nate Dern, Sarah Tollemache, and Paul Oddo. The hosts’ favorite comics from this open-mic will be selected to perform at their midnight Beastmasters show: The Friday Night Hot Chicks Open Mic

[TOP PICK] 7:30 pm ($5): Dion Flynn, Katie Mordhorst, and Bob Powers tell “stories of all sizes that define our place in the universe” at UCB East hosted by Adam Wade (two-time Moth GrandSlam Storytelling Champion (2006 & 2009) and record-breaking 18-time StorySlam Champion; The New York Times Magazine; host of hilarious monthly storytelling extravaganzas The Adam Wade Show and Whatever Happened to the Nerds?; for a sampling of Adam’s award-winning tales, please click here): Tales of the Cosmos

[TOP PICK] 7:30 pm ($10): Stone Cold Fox is the only sketch troupe (vs. improv troupe) to ever be honored with an ongoing spot on the prestigious UCB Chelsea weekend schedule. It’s earned this slot because its cast is superb: Brandon Scott Jones, Molly Lloyd, John Murray, Leslie Meisel, Connor Ratliff, and Johnathan Fernandez; and among this latest show’s writers are the delightful Silvija Ozols, and Brandon Gulya…who also directed: Stone Cold Fox: Hey, Look Over Here!

[FREE] 7:30ish pm: Chris Gethard (comedy genius; Comedy Central, IFC; star of The Chris Gethard Show; The Stepfathers, The Nights of Our Lives; author of bestseller A Bad Idea I’m About to Do and Weird New York), Jeffrey Joseph (Jay Leno, HBO, FOX’s In Living Color, Comedy Central), Kevin Barnett (MTV’s Guy Code, Comedy Central, Sleepwalk With Me, College Humor), John Moses (Sirius XM), and Noah Savage performing stand-up at the One and One Bar (76 1st Street, corner of First Avenue) hosted by Ben Conrad & Lucas Connolly: Cranky Pants Comedy Hour

[MEGA-TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm & 10:30 pm ($38.25 & 2-drink min.) Anthony Jeselnik is one of my favorite stand-ups of all time, with a special gift for crafting dark and shocking short jokes, and a lightning-quick mind that allows him to play with any audience in the moment. This genius Emmy-nominated comic is the star of hit Comedy Central series The Jeselnik Offensive, former writer/performer for Jimmy Fallon, and has also performed on Conan O’Brien, HBO, a Comedy Central Presents half-hour special, and his great comedy CDs Shakespeare and Caligula. Anthony is headlining tonight through Sunday at the Carolines Comedy Club, but is now sold out except for Saturday at 10:30, so grab tickets ASAP: The Greatest: Anthony Jeselnik

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm ($24 plus 2-item food/drink min.): Whitney Cummings (star of NBC’s Whitney; HBO, Showtime, Comedy Central, MTV), John Mulaney (one of the finest stand-ups in the country; writer/performer for Saturday Night Live; Conan O’Brien, Jimmy Fallon, Comedy Central Presents, one hour special & CD/DVD New in Town, VH1’s Best Week Ever; for John’s great bit on Weekend Update, please click here), Tony Woods (David Letterman), Robert Kelly (Louie, Comedy Central, Opie & Anthony), Jeff Lamp (Jay Leno, Comedy Central), and Mike Vecchione (Last Comic Standing, Howard Stern) performing at Village Underground (130 West 3rd Street, off Sixth Avenue) hosted by Ardie Fuqua (HBO’S Bad Boys of Comedy, Comedy Central): Whitney Cummings, John Mulaney, and More

[TOP PICK] [$] [DISCOUNTED] 8:00 pm ($35 using code CQUSTX online or at the box office): TV & Broadway stand-up star Colin Quinn performs a show he’s been developing for months for this off-Broadway run (through June 3rd) that looks at US history “from the Founding Fathers to the Kardashians” at the Barrow Street Theatre (27 Barrow Street, just one block from the #1 subway’s Christopher Street stop): Colin Quinn: Unconstitutional

[$] 8:00 pm ($30): Trevor Noah, a South African comic who’s appeared on Jay Leno and Chelsea Lately, performs a one-man show about “a search for identity in a world obsessed with labels” on Wednesdays-Saturdays through June 8th at The Culture Project (45 Bleecker Street). I can’t rate this until I see it on Saturday, but Noah has a great reputation: Born a Crime

[FREE] 8:00 pm & 10:00 pm: Stand-up comics audition for the prestigious Just for Laughs festival at The Creek’s upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City for two entirely different 2-hour shows at 8 and 10: Just for Laughs Stand-Up Showcase

8:00 pm ($8): Sketch comedy at The PIT downstairs lounge from National Scandal

[FREE] 8:00 pm: An open-mic show that’s first come, first serve (sign-ups start at 7:30 pm), with each comic getting five minutes on stage at The Creek downstairs lounge in Queens’ Long Island City: Mic and Cheese

[TOP PICK] 8:30 pm ($10): Before this Magnet show, audience members may anonymously submit written confessions, secrets, rants, advice and opinions which will be used onstage by the improvisors—who include such talents as Laura Grey (stellar old-time radio style theatrical podcast Horrorgasm, improv troupe Salmon Diane, sketch/improv duo Klepper & Grey): The Friday Night Sh*w

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:45 pm ($24 plus 2-item food/drink min.): Killer lineup of Whitney Cummings (star of NBC’s Whitney; HBO, Showtime, Comedy Central, MTV), John Mulaney (one of the finest stand-ups in the country; writer/performer for Saturday Night Live; Conan O’Brien, Jimmy Fallon, Comedy Central Presents, one hour special & CD/DVD New in Town, VH1’s Best Week Ever; for John’s great bit on Weekend Update, please click here), Julian McCullough (fiercely funny rising star; Comedy Central Presents, Jimmy Fallon, NPR’s This American Life, MTV, VH1), Gary Gulman (David Letterman, Jay Leno, Last Comic Standing, Tourgasm, Comedy Central hour-long special), Robert Kelly (Louie, Comedy Central, Opie & Anthony), and Tony Woods (David Letterman) performing at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane) hosted by Erik Rivera (Jay Leno, MTV): Whitney Cummings, John Mulaney, Julian McCullough, Gary Gulman, and More

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($10): Some of the finest improv in NYC from comedy geniuses Chris Gethard and Shannon O’Neill, plus stellar comics Silvija Ozols, Zach Woods, Michael Delaney, Will Hines, and Connor Ratliff, performing at UCB Chelsea—the all-star members of The Stepfathers

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($10): A gathering of comedic musicians, who tonight are Myq & Micah, Elizabeth Elkins, and Marc T. Engberg performing at UCB East with hosted by superb musical group Summer & Eve (for samples, please click here): Earworm Funny Music Party Show

9:30 pm ($10): A PIT upstairs theatre improv group making up a musical on the spot after a friendly greeting: Hello

9:30 pm ($8): Siobhan Beasley (United Nations), Robert A. George (New York Post), Lucas Zachary Hazlett (MTV), and more gather to make fun of politics at The PIT upstairs theatre: Electoral Dysfunction

[TOP PICK] [DISCOUNTED] 10:00 pm ($7.50 online with code ARI; no min.): Ted Alexandro (one of the very finest stand-ups in the country; David Letterman, Conan O’Brien, Jimmy Kimmel, two Comedy Central Presents half-hour specials; frequently opens for Louis C.K.), Kevin Meaney (Saturday Night Live, 30 Rock, HBO, Comedy Central, Adult Swim), Ari Shaffir (Conan O’Brien, HBO’s Down and Dirty, Comedy Central, National Lampoon), Keith Robinson (HBO, Comedy Central, Wanda Sykes Show), Adrienne Iapalucci (Last Comic Standing, VH1), and Yannis Pappas (Comedy Central, VH1) performing stand-up at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street): Ted Alexandro, Kevin Meaney, Ari Shaffir, and More

10:00 pm ($10): Singing improvisors at The Magnet using an interview with an audience member to craft The Made-Up Musical

[$] [DISCOUNTED] 10:00 pm ($15): Telly Savalas returns to life to entertain you and provide life guidance in this 50-minute show that was a hit at FringeNYC 2011 and is enjoying a Friday night run this summer at the Soho Playhouse’s downstairs Huron Club. The script is at times very smart, especially in its choices of hilarious video clips and music tracks from the real Savalas…who, in his more intense moments, apparently rivaled William Shatner at his silliest. But even when Hunter Nelson’s writing isn’t consistent, actor Tom DiMenna—who is a professional comic with great timing and skill at engaging an audience—is likely to keep you entertained: Who Loves You, Baby?

[TOP PICK] 10:30 pm ($10): Superb improvisors Craig Rowin, Matt Fisher, Sue Galloway, Dan Klein, Brian Faas, Matt Moses, and/or Conner O’Malley—who this year defeated The Stepfathers and thoroughly crushed another troupe at Cage Match before losing by a single vote—make up scenes about an audience member’s legal dispute at the UCB Chelsea theatre: The Law Firm: Law & Disorder

[TOP PICK] 10:30 pm ($10): Joe Pera (hilarious deadpan Andy Kaufman-like stand-up; one time I saw Joe sing beautifully and then smash three dozen plates to pieces; more recently he ended his set by slicing milk; for Joe’s latest Kaufman awards submissions, please click here and here), Seth Herzog (staff comic for Jimmy Fallon; 30 Rock, Comedy Central, CBS, VH1, film actor; host of Sweet), Megan Neuringer (HBO’s Flight Of The Conchords, Comedy Central’s Strangers With Candy, FOX’s Fringe, VH1’s Best Week Ever, MTV; freelance writer for Jimmy Fallon, Comedy Central, Bravo, VH1, MTV, Spike), and Matt Star (sketch group The Prom) performing on this show mixing stand-up, sketch, and improv at UCB East hosted by Brandon Scott Jones, D’Arcy Carden, Justin Tyler, Kelly Hudson, and/or Alden Ford: Gentrify

[TOP PICK] 11:30 pm ($7): Over a dozen of the talented gal improvisors and sketch comics at The Magnet—with the rotating cast including Artistic Director Megan Gray, Lauren Olson, Elena Fishbein, Kimberly Ferguson, and Beth Newell—aim to “give you a dark and twisted late night explosion:” The Clubhouse

[TOP PICK] [FREE] Midnight: NYC stand-ups—sometimes stellar ones—pushing boundaries for a show designed for looseness and experimentation at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City with hosts Jacqueline Novak and Chris Laker: Permission to Fail

Midnight ($5): This UCB East stand-up show features a pro as headliner, plus comics that did well at the 7:00 pm Hot Chicks Room open mic, plus two comics whose names will be drawn from a hat, hosted by Nate Dern, Sarah Tollemache, and Paul Oddo: Beastmasters: Up From the Mic

[FREE] Midnight: This show might not be much fun for audience members, but it’s an amazing opportunity if you want to perform sketch for free and with almost zero hurdles on the prestigious UCB Chelsea stage. Plus it’s hosted by members of Maude troupe Fambly, typically including such wonderful talents as Nicole Byer and Veronica Osorio: Liquid Courage

From legendary NYC comedy site Brooklyn Vegan: If you want to know what is happening in NYC comedy on a particular day, you gotta get hip to this dude Hy Bender and his site Best New York Comedy. The site is updated daily and features a super exhaustive look at what is happening in the NYC comedy world that particular day. The site is updated religiously…It is your daily comedy itinerary and it scares me how on top of his shit this guy is.

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